One of the guys on my team officially became a Florida resident this week, moving from Oklahoma City. Today for lunch I brought him to Tijuana Flats, a chain that's confined to Florida. It made me kind of nostalgic for the time when we moved. It felt like there were so many adventures to have.
Four years later, we're still having adventures. Most of it isn't particularly exotic, because this is where people come to vacation. The theme parks are of course a huge part of our leisure time, and we still don't take that for granted. Most people visit at best every few years, and we enjoy it just because we can. The local, non-tourist scene has exceeded our expectations in every way, with a wonderful downtown area and mini-downtowns in the suburbs with restaurants and theaters and county parks. We have two amazing coast lines full of beaches on the Gulf and the Atlantic. If life is uninteresting here, you're doing it wrong.
Coincidentally, my coworker lived in the Pacific Northwest for awhile as well. We agree that summers out there are a huge win, but living in two places like that would be really hard when the biggest negative there is the cost of housing. I still think that Seattle is objectively "better" than Central Florida, but the pros and cons are pretty straight forward. Cost of housing is so high out there, winter is very wet and the closest serious theme parks are in California. It's not very "pretty" here, but winter is amazing and houses are stupid cheap. It's a strange feeling, missing another place but not so much that you want to leave where you are.
Those firsts when we moved here four years ago set the tone for some really great living. Life has been challenging at times, but the challenges are definitely not a symptom of where we live. Definitely one of our better decisions.